Ain’t No Taco
Mexican food with a twist – Cheapeats goes south of the border (or at least to Upper Symonds Street) to Ain’t No Taco.
Many cheap eats restaurants may be good at food but often the decor is functional (at best). We walked into Ain’t No Taco and “hello!” we were greeted with a charming decor on a Mexican theme. Amazing what good use of colour, strategic use of pot plants and a few decorative touches can do – even a wall devoted to chilli sauces. And better, there was a bar! Unfortunately this was a lunch meal, so we didn’t partake, but I could be tempted another time.
The Ain’t No Taco menu is short and sweet and pushes the boundaries on taco fillings: Korean Karaage Chicken taco anyone? I decided to be more traditional and chose a Bang Bang Shrimp taco and a Chorizo taco. My carnivore daughter ordered two Lamb Tagine tacos. Vegetarians could go for the Jerk Tofu taco. Ain’t No Taco is running a special during November of $4.99 per taco and after this the price will be in the $12-$15/2 tacos range.
I also ordered the Jalapeno Poppers ($7) to start – deep-fried, cream cheese filled jalapeño peppers.
If I had been in healthier eating mode, I could have built my own taco bowl (regular $8/large $11). You select your own base ingredients, toppings and sauces. Protein or avocado is an extra $3-$4.
We sat at one of the ground floor tables, but there is an upper level which we did not explore.
I loved the Jalapeno Poppers. The peppers had been dipped in a cornmeal coating, which contrasted nicely with the creamy smoothness of the cream cheese and the slight tang of the chilis. I held back from eating the whole lot only because I knew I had my tacos coming.
The Bang Bang Shrimp taco was a nice light taco. It included toppings of coleslaw, avocado, crema (slightly soured and thickened cream), coriander and lime.The Chorizo taco was a much heartier taco – pieces of sautéed chorizo and potato, topped with crema, coriander and jalapeños. Both tacos were made with cornmeal which I much prefer to wheat flour.
I would love to tell you about the Lamb Tagine taco, except that my daughter managed to eat both tacos before I could grab a bite. High recommendation.
The menu offers a vegan chocolate mousse for dessert ($11) and a weekly special ($9), but we passed on both.
There is also a good selection of beverages – juices, “the usual suspects’ and some delicious-sounding cocktails. A good reason to return another time.
Try Ain’t No Taco soon – the $4.99/taco special only runs until the end of November.